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Browse Prior Art Database

Manual Character Entry Device

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000086925D
Original Publication Date: 1976-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-03
Document File: 5 page(s) / 129K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Borchardt, KH: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

The manual character entry device shown in Fig. 1 is a mechanical guide, with 16 sensing areas, on which a person may scribe (print) individual characters with a stylus. Each character is uniquely digitized by those sensors which are touched while scribing the character in combination with those which remain untouched. Each of the 16 sensing areas corresponds to a respective bit position in a 16 bit representation of any scribed character. See Fig. 2 for examples of how various characters may be scribed on the device.

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Manual Character Entry Device

The manual character entry device shown in Fig. 1 is a mechanical guide, with 16 sensing areas, on which a person may scribe (print) individual characters with a stylus. Each character is uniquely digitized by those sensors which are touched while scribing the character in combination with those which remain untouched. Each of the 16 sensing areas corresponds to a respective bit position in a 16 bit representation of any scribed character. See Fig. 2 for examples of how various characters may be scribed on the device.

Using the numbering scheme for the 16 sensors shown in Fig 1 it will be shown how characters are differentiated. Take for example the letters "I", "J", "T" and the number "1". All of these characters require sensors A and E. Since "I" also has top and bottom horizontal bars sensors 2, 6 and 7 must also be activated (note: sensors 1, 3 and 5 are optional while all others are disallowed). "J" differs from "I" in that no stroke is made over sensor 6 and sensor 5 is no longer optional Thus for "J" sensor 5 and 6 cannot be activated. The letter "T" disallows the lower bar of "I", thus sensors 5, 6 and 7 must be inactive.

The number "1" could be a vertical center stroke by the scribe with an optional base line unless the PL/1 "OR" symbol is used. In which case the base line is mandatory for "1". Where possible, some sensors are considered optional for a character to allow the user the most flexibility in making the symbol.

This manual character entry device allows an unskilled user to enter standard upper-case characters by printing them on the surface of the device using a stylus. The device could be made out of plastic or other hard, smooth material and will have raised surfaces, as indicated by the shaded areas. Between the raised surfaces are the stylus-guiding channels which allow for the ease of entry of the characters. The sixteen sensing areas or pads which register when the stylus passes over them can be sensitive to light, pressure, magnetism or other characteristic property. The sensors are connected to conventional electronic circuitry to determine by the combination of activated and inactivated sensors, which character is entered. The attached table of sensor patterns shows codes for each standard character. A convenient dimension might be 14 mm by 10 mm which is approximately the height of two lines on ruled paper.

In order to signal to the device that a character has been completely entered, either beginning a character on another device, or a separate sensor pad is actuated to indicate "ENTER". This could also be accomplished by a spring- loaded tip on the stylus which would be depressed while entering a character.

A row of these devices might be put into a very small terminal having a display driven by the sensors. The output of the sensors could also interface to a telephonic data coupler or other device to communicate the written input to a host computer. An additional senso...